Is there something that you’ve been trying to achieve, but continuously finding yourself putting it off? If you’re like most of us, there is definitely something that you’ve been procrastinating for too long. Maybe you even opened up this article to read because you should be getting some work done for that particular thing, but you’re here instead, mindlessly wandering through blog posts.
Procrastination is a common cause of stress for students as well as professionals. It’s not a disease, but rather a habit that arises out of mental laziness. The problem with procrastination is that it gets worse if you beat yourself up over it. It needs to be tackled in a smart way, by tricking your brain into coming out of it.
Through this post today, I want to help you to adopt certain tricks that will work to rid yourself of procrastination. But in order to do that, we need to step back and understand where procrastination comes from to begin with.
There are mainly 3 kinds of psychological triggers that account for 95% of procrastination in people. If we can turn these triggers off, we’ll be able to get the things done that we’re supposed to do, and achieve our goals on time. Let’s go through these triggers one by one.
Lack of clarity
You get a thesis paper to write, but you have no idea where to begin. So you don’t, due to lack of clarity.
Solution: The best way to deal with this is to set a concrete daily deadline. The most important word here is ‘daily’. When I started my publication site, I set up a goal at the beginning of the month to publish at least one post every week. But what I found was that I started waiting until Saturday and Sunday, before publishing my week’s post on Monday. It would have been much better for me to set daily goals. So now I know that on Monday, I need to have my topic picked. On Tuesday, I need to have a couple of headlines written. By Wednesday, I have to come up with an outline. What often happens when I’m following this schedule is that when I pick my topic on Monday, I just feel like writing more, and I end up getting done so much more on the first day of the week itself. You can see that sometimes I am even able to publish 1 post a day.
Hence, setting these daily deadlines keeps you moving on daily basis. It often even gets you running faster than you would if you just wait till the end of the week or month to get something done.
If you are like a lot of people, you usually start thinking of too many grand things that you want to get done. For example, you might start planning to write 3 pages a day, or run 4 miles a day. But if you were asked to do that by the end of this post, you would feel overwhelmed.
Solution: The solution is to make your daily goals smaller, so that they are achievable. Turn the grand plans into tiny habits. Make them smaller to the point where you can actually stop whatever you are doing right now and start working on the goal right away. If it’s about writing let’s say, make it 50 words a day. If it’s a fitness goal, make it 10 push-ups or 20 squats a day. In order to get started, it is always best to make the habit as small as possible.
Researchers have found out that the hardest thing about starting a new habit is just that – the beginning. Once you get going, you are more likely to want to continue. For instance, if your goal is to start jogging and you do one lap on the first day, you could probably feel like completing the second lap as well. Before you know it, you would have run 4 miles when you only set up the goal to run 1 mile per day.
Lack of incentives
One of the biggest problems that cause procrastination is lack of incentives to get work done. Lack of incentives can take different forms, such as delayed gratification, or no direct monetary compensation.
Solution: What you need to do to overcome this is incentivize yourself with rewards after your daily habits. Give yourself a prize right away. Set up your schedules in a way that you are able to get some form of gratification right after you complete your daily set task. For instance, you can plan to watch your favorite movie or a new release right after you complete the task that you have allotted to complete by today. Don’t give yourself the gratification of getting something you like everyday, until you complete your tiny habit for that day. Once you get into this habit, you will be amazed at how effective these baby steps can be. Once you get started, the momentum would just keep going and going.
Avoidance of Professional Guidance
Manu people avoid professional guidance until they get into a real huge roadblock in career. Even if you are going through small hiccups in your work life, it is good to go take on some professional advice to help you overcome the situation in a successful way.
This course teaches you the secret of getting things done in an easy-to-follow manner. By following the method described in the course, you would feel like the universe was literally pushed to get you the success that you deserve.